Monday, 7 February 2011

Dogfight double: Jeti Duplex and Multiplex M-LINK

With all the talk about Multiplex's M-LINK telemetry system, it's easy to forget that it was another manufacturer, Jeti, that was first to market with a reliable bi-directional 2.4 GHz system. In fact M-LINK and Jeti's Duplex system are very similar - so similar that's it's hard to believe that Duplex wasn't in Multiplex's minds when they were designing M-LINK. Both systems permit the design of small telemetry-capable receivers, with the option of programmable external sensors. And both systems work very well.

Yet despite their head start in the underlying bi-directional comms technology, Jeti have been hampered by the lack of a telemetry-enabled transmitter. Their plug-in rf modules provide only audio feedback, and in order to view  telemetry data you have to buy a separate 'Jetibox'. Another thing to charge up and take to the field....

By contrast, despite being somewhat late with M-LINK, Multiplex were able to hit the ground running with telemetry output going directly to the display of their Royal Pro and Cockpit SX M-LINK transmitters. Multiplex have also done a good job at marketing the system, with full page adverts in the model press, and their catalogue is a model of simple concise English. Documentation is also of a consistently high standard. As an overall package, M-LINK is the more polished.

Is this about to change? Because the news is that Jeti are due to launch a couple of transmitters later this year. Very interesting they look too, and no doubt some people will be holding off an M-LINK purchase until these transmitters are available. The new sets appear to be aimed at the premium end of the market.

Technicalities aside, I hope Jeti can get their marketing sorted out here in the UK, though it has to be said that the signs are not too good. My attempts at obtaining information from the UK distributor were not very encouraging, and the Jeti web site is a mish mash of Czech and half translated English. A properly structured multi-lingual web site should surely be a priority for a company about to launch a premium product.

There is also the question of support. Multiplex have a reliable service agent in the UK, with good links to the factory in Germany. In contrast, Jeti are distributed by Ripmax  whose record on supporting high end R/C systems seems to have declined over recent years.

Nevertheless, it has to be said that Jeti's 2.4 GHz receivers and sensors are considerably less expensive than the M-LINK equivalents. It'll be interesting to see if Jeti's new transmitters can match the programming elegance of their Multiplex counterparts.

The new transmitters are shown here:


Adrian Smith said...

Have a quality look to them although 1.2kg seems a bit on the heavy side?

RC Soar said...

It's a little lighter than my 4K which weighs in 1.55kg with 3000 mAh NiMH pack.